It's relieving that this film did not turn out like Ang Lee's Hulk film that released in 2003. This reboot into the Marvel Cinematic Universe did not disappoint. Although, it does remain a weaker film in the great MCU movie lineup.
Let's not start off by thinking when I say "weaker film" I mean "it was bad"... It was actually a great film. But compared to most of the other Marvel Cinematic Universe films, The Incredible Hulk does not deliver the same way. Although it nearly did.
Louis Leterrier directed a fast-paced film if you ask me. Although, it doesn't rush the events to the point where it hurts the film. The beginning wasn't fleshed out enough, but slows down towards the mid-way point where viewers can truly enjoy and soak in the film's offerings. Good directing job, all-in-all.
The film's plot was of good quality for what the studio had to work with. I thought Brazil was a great location for Banner to hide. It suited the whole situation and flowed nicely with the opening sequence. The opening sequence was amazing as well. The bully in the beginning was unnecessary as it distracted from the main point of the film at the time. That's just my opinion, though.
The relationship with Betty Ross and Bruce Banner unfolded perfectly although the whole "I can't make love because I'll turn into the Hulk" was a bit dull.
By the time the Abomination came around I had already been impressed enough and the final battle remains one of the best action sequences I have ever seen. A nice twist on the character of the Abomination as well!
I thought the cast was perfect. Edward Norton put on an excellent portrayal of Bruce Banner. Tim Roth was efficient in providing us with an evil feeling emitted from his character, Emil Blonsky. I thought the transformation of Blonsky into the Abomination could not have been done any better. It was a very well-done job. Liv Tyler is a doll. Perfectly cast as Betty Ross and Tyler was able to play a loving and great love interest. I'm eager to see her return eventually in another MCU film. We'll just have to wait and see. William Hurt was a great pick to play General Ross as he successfully gave me what I expect the General to be. The Hulk here was the best appearance of the Hulk to date. Although I love Mark Ruffalo's appearance as the big green monster greatly, I don't think it holds up to the way Norton's Hulk looks like. I don't have an opinion on the portrayal of Sterns, but I do hope Tim Blake Nelson some day returns on screen as the Leader. It'd be interesting to see this performance. The acting was a job well-done.
The score was powerful although I would have liked to see more variation in the background music. Some of the music seemed stereotypical for the situation it was played in.
Despite being just as long as any other film out there, the fast-pace run of the film makes it seem rather short. But hey, I'm not angry... you wouldn't like me when I'm angry!
Definitely the best Hulk film out there. More could have been done, but it still delivers. The Incredible Hulk IS an incredible film.